Count Dracula is a monster. A lot of people forget that. After a million parodies and adaptations that missed the point, it’s simple to write Dracula off as a cliché, a ridiculous figure in an opera cape with a fear of garlic, and a penchant for falling in love with his victims. That none of these factors were a part of his original portrayal is something people seem to be unaware of.
Dracula was never a romantic figure, no matter what Gary Oldman or Stephenie Meyer might want to believe. His resemblance to current-day vampires, with their angst and their lovesick affairs, is superficial at best.
Dracula is the king of the undead: evil, alien, and thoroughly proud of it. He’s a metaphorical rapist and a literal murderer, stalking and killing women to pass his curse onto them. He even counts children among his victims, callously feeding a baby to his brides. He drives those who would serve him mad. There is nothing redeeming about Dracula, no better nature to appeal to, no humanity to salvage. When Mina Harker says that the best thing her husband can do for Dracula is to put him out of his misery, she is being entirely too generous.
Dracula is the quintessence of villainy, and he represents humanity at its most soulless. He is the serial killer, the pyromaniac, and the mass murderer, the sexual predator, and the sadist of every stripe, a stand-in for those so disconnected from society that their only means of interacting with it is to find someone to victimize. Dracula’s story is that of a very old, very bored psychopath on an international suicide run, looking to find a nation full of new prey – or die trying. He is a figure of horror, and should always be treated as such.
Cameron Winter is an aspiring author from Lindsay, Ontario. Having recently completed both an Honours BA in History at Trent University, and a certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College, he is currently working on a novel, and several pieces of short fiction. He has been previously published by Black Heart Magazine, and can be found on Facebook.